Emirates, Etihad confirm "explosive detection screening" on flights

Emirates and Etihad have confirmed that their flights to Australia will face additional screening measures, such as explosive detection screening, at the boarding gates from April 6.

Last Friday, Australia’s Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said passengers on airlines flying directly to Australia from three major transit airports in the Middle East - Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai - will undergo extra additional screening measures at the boarding gates despite there being no specific threat to the country.

“Explosive detection screening will be conducted for randomly selected passengers and their baggage.  Checks may also include targeted screening of electronic devices,” Chester said in a statement.

The flights are already subject to gate screening measures that have been in place in Australia since 2007, the minister said, adding there will be no ban on the carriage of electronic devices on flights at this stage.

The enhanced screening affects flights operated by Emirates, Etihad (including Virgin Australia code share passengers), Qatar Airways and Qantas.

An Emirates spokesperson confirmed its flights to Australia will be subject to reinforced security measures from April 6.

“Emirates can confirm that following new guidelines received from the Australian government, our flights to Australia will be subject to reinforced security measures, starting April 6. The new directive requires additional screening at the gate, but there is no restriction on electronic devices,” the spokesperson said.

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Passengers travelling from Dubai International Airport to Australia should allow additional time at the gate, the spokesperson added.

An Etihad spokesperson said that following a directive from the Australian government, flights arriving in Australia from certain countries, including the UAE, will be subject to enhanced security screening from April 6.

In March, the US government imposed a ban on large electronic devices to be carried in airline cabins particularly on US-bound flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE.

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